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Putkonen Replaces Below In Bullpen

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CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 9: Relief pitcher Duane Below #64 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 9, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 9: Relief pitcher Duane Below #64 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 9, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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LHP Duane Below was optioned to Class AAA Toledo after Monday night’s 9-3 loss at Minnesota. Below worked the seventh inning and gave up a three-run home run. He’s been largely effective in the role of seldom-used long man but has been erratic in recent outings. Below is 2-1 with a 3.88 ERA in 27 appearances. “He really hasn’t gotten that much of an opportunity to be sharp, the role that he’s in,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We’re going to send him down to get him working; hopefully sharpen him up a little bit. It’s a little unfair to ask a guy to do sometimes what we ask him to do. At the same time, in the major leagues, you have to be able to do that. You have to be able to sit, and come in, when it’s 5-1, you gotta be able to hold it a little bit. He struggled a little bit, so we’re just making the move to get (RHP Luke) Putkonen up here.”

–RHP Luke Putkonen was brought up from Class AAA Toledo after Detroit’s 9-3 loss at Minnesota on Monday night. Putkonen was up with the Tigers earlier this season and showed a good fastball and a need for more experience. “He’s been throwing pretty well,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s a multiple-inning guy.” Putkonen was 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA in six games with the Tigers in April and May. He went 2-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 22 games (one start) for Toledo.

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